Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha

Although we focus each year on Ramadan, there are other Islamic holidays and celebrations. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are the two major holidays that Muslims in the United States observe.

Eid Al-Fitr (Festival of the Breaking of the Fast) is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. The celebrations can vary since Muslims originate from many different countries, however some things such as offering congregational Eid prayers and enjoying a feast with family and friends is universal. In some Muslim nations the festivities can last up to three days.

Eid al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) is celebrated from 4 to 12 days at the end of the Hajj. Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a mandatory requirement for adult Muslims to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able to make the journey.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, as many as 2.5 million people would travel every year to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. Because of pandemic restrictions, only 10,000 people were allowed to perform the pilgrimage in 2020, and 60,000 in 2021. This year Saudi Arabia announced that it will allow one million pilgrims to perform Hajj as long as they are fully vaccinated against Covid 19 and are under the age of 65. 

Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the dates of Hajj change each year. This year Hajj will be from July 8 to 12, 2022. Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on July 10, 2020. Eid al-Adha is considered the holier of the two Eid celebrations. The festival commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael). In Islam, Ibrahim has a dream instructing him to sacrifice Ismail (not Issac) as a sign of obedience to Allah. As he is about to sacrifice Ismail, the Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) stops him, and gives him a ram to sacrifice instead. As part of the Eid al-Adha celebration, Muslims often sacrifice a lamb or goat to reenact the story. 

As Ramadan comes to a close this year, we want to thank you for praying with us. Your prayers are making a difference in the lives of Muslims around the world. We would love to hear from you. Please feel free to give us your thoughts regarding this series, ask questions or make suggestions for future articles by sending an email to bestcurrentnews@gmail.com. 

Night of Power

In the Bible in Genesis 16:11, Ishmael was the first person named by the living God before he was even born. His name means “God hears.” The Qur’an upholds the Muslim belief that Ishmael, not Isaac, was Abraham’s ultimate heir. Ishmael is mentioned several times throughout the Qur’an and it is through the Islamic scripture that he is considered as a messenger, prophet, and one preferred by God.

Near the end of Ramadan’s 30 days is the “Night of Power” (Laylat Al Qadr), the holiest night of the year for Muslims. Most Islamic scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of Ramadan’s final ten days, but is typically celebrated on the 27th day. It commemorates the night that Muslims believe their Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Qur’an, recorded in Sura 96.

They believe that from sunset to dawn, during the whole Night of Power, there are groups of angels who perform particular purposes and are only seen on this night. Some angels come down for worship or for granting the request of the believing Muslim. Other angels come down bringing with them proclamations of the coming year.

Today many Muslims think this is a special night when God gives heed to their requests. They are open to dreams and visions as they seek for guidance and revelation. Many Muslims pray all night, seeking a response to specific requests. One common belief is that angels will shower down Allah’s peace and blessings on all who remain awake during this “night of power.” According to the Qur’an, Allah either listens directly or via the angel Gabriel, to the requests of Muslims concerning their fate.

Muslims also call this the “Night of Destiny,” and it seems equally important among orthodox Muslims and in Folk Islam. It is on this night, and during the following weeks that many Muslims have had supernatural encounters with Jesus Christ.

Muslims are encouraged to stay awake the entire night and pray for blessings and forgiveness. According to Abu Huraira translation of the Hadith, the prophet Muhammed declared that “whoever prays during the Night of Power with faith and hoping for its reward will have all his previous sins forgiven.” Many things a Muslim will endeavor to do on the Night of Power, include reciting and studying the Quran, making special requests from Allah, evaluating their own lives, and making plans for the next year.

For the past 1400 years, many Muslims stay up all night to prove their devotion to Allah through their prayers, even being proud of their religious accomplishments. Others, knowing in their hearts that they are incapable of really pleasing God by their own religious activity, will feel disappointed with themselves. Finally, significant numbers will be praying in desperation and genuinely seeking help from God and will have a dream or vision of Jesus.

Our God has not forgotten that He named Abraham’s son Ishmael, which means “God hears.” Today God hears the cries of Ishmael’s descendants who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Let us cry out that they will indeed be guided to the true right path – the path to peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Father God, this is when Muslims seek their god on the Night of Power, called the Night of Destiny. We know the sons of Ishmael want to find You, the Living God, through our Lord Jesus, yet they don’t have that revelation. You named Abraham’s son Ishmael because his name declares that You hear him, and we believe you hear his descendants. As they are open to hearing, we declare they will listen to the voice of truth! Glorify Your Son Jesus in their lives and reveal His Lordship. We believe that this Ramadan 2022, more Muslims will turn to Christ than any time in history. AMEN!

Islamic Propaganda to Our Children

Teen Vogue, with a target demographic of teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 19, has 11.6 million digital users and 13.6 million social media followers. In March, in conjunction with the website, MuslimGirl, the online magazine, published a recent article debunking myths about Muslim women. The article states, “Let’s start with this general misconception about Islam….’ Allah’ is simply the Arabic word for ‘God’…many mainstream Muslims agree we worship the same God as Christians and Jewish people.” 

Countless Christians believe that Muslims and Christians worship the same god. However, one of the greatest sins in Islam is to believe in polytheism (multiple gods). Muslims do not understand or believe in the foundational Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity states that God is a single being who exists, simultaneously and eternally, as a communion of three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. His attributes are eternal and unchangeable, with perfect justice, goodness, and truth. He is a holy God.

Islam dismisses the Christian belief in the Trinity as worshipping “many Gods.” Often Muslims falsely teach that Jesus’ followers worship the Father, Son, and Mary (mother of Jesus), only adding to the confusion in their understanding of our faith.

The God of the Christians pursues a personal relationship with His worshipers. He extends His love and desires to receive love in return. Although God hates sin, He loves the sinner. 

Allah is described in the Qur’an as the great “unknowable” who does not reveal himself to mortal man. Islam teaches that the Muslim Allah is a remote god who reveals his law, but not himself. He is full of judgment and power but lacks the attributes of holiness, love, purity, and grace.

Muslims go through life not knowing whether the god they follow loves them, for they do not know His character, only his will based on his law. They have no assurance of salvation in their heart, and only their “works” qualify them for eternity. 

Muslims believe that the “mizan” or scale will weigh everyone’s good deeds and sins on the Day of Reckoning. “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least” (Qur’an 21:47).

If a person’s good deeds outweigh the bad, that person will enter paradise. However, if the sins outweigh the good deeds, the person will go to hell. “Then those whose scales are heavy; they are the successful. But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls, in Hell will they abide” (Qur’an 23:103).

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Through their website and magazine, Teen Vogue is presenting a deceiving message about Islam and Christianity to as many as 25 million girls. Today, we take our stand with the living God on behalf of these young girls who are being led astray by false teaching. We declare that the light and truth of the Word of God are greater than any error. Rise up, O Lord, and draw these young women away from deception. Open their eyes and give them a great hunger to learn and fully understand there is freedom for their lives based on the Bible, through our Lord Jesus Christ!

A Shift in Muhammad’s Revelations

Overall, the revelations that Muhammad allegedly received from the angel Gabriel during his time in Mecca were peaceful. However, after the death of his uncle, Muhammad migrated from Mecca to the city of Yathrib (now known as Medina) in 622 AD. This migration is known as the hijra and is the beginning of the Islamic calendar. 

Muhammad did not assimilate into the host city, but rather eventually took it over. When he moved to Medina, the city was half Jewish. Muhammad considered himself in the lineage of Jewish prophets, and as so he believed he was a reformer of Judaism. However, he had most likely picked up bits and pieces of Jewish scriptures on the trade routes in ancient Arabia, so the Jews were able to easily point out some of the contradictions between Muhammad’s revelations and Jewish scriptures. The rabbis in Medina, quite correctly, did not accept him as a Jewish prophet. Because the Jews refused to accept Muhammad, he developed a hatred for the Jews and eliminated them. Within three years all the Jews living in Medina were either killed, enslaved, or had fled the city.

Muhammad arrived in Medina with approximately 150 followers, but by the end of Muhammad’s life the number of Islamic followers had increased to nearly 100,000. Once he moved to Medina, the nature of his revelations changed, and it is in Medina that the doctrine of jihad was born. “I shall cast terror into the hearts of the kafirs [non-Muslims]. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers” (Sura 109:1). By the end of his life, Muhammad averaged an act of violence every six weeks for his last nine years.

Since Muhammad’s earlier revelations in Mecca contradicted the revelations he received in Medina, the concept of abrogation was born, which means “the repeal or abolition of a law.” Therefore, the later passages that Muhammad received in Medina take precedence over the Mecca passages. In a way, the later revelation supersedes the previous one, however that does not mean the earlier verse is incorrect. Because the Qur’an is considered the actual words of Allah and Allah cannot be wrong, the early Mecca revelations cannot be wrong. So, when a Muslim states that Islam is a religion of peace, he can also fully believe (as declared in the later texts) that it is okay to “smite” the necks of disbelievers.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Numbers 23:19a assures us, “God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind.” We learn in Islam that it is said that Allah would often “change his mind,” which seemed to happen when it would fit the situation. Father God, we thank You that You are bringing this understanding to the minds of the precious Muslim people, causing them to reflect on this truth, realize the living God can be trusted, that He loves them unconditionally, and they can fully put their trust in His son, the Lord Jesus Christ for their eternal destiny!

Muhammad’s New Religion

As taught in Islam, Muhammad’s wife, Khadijah, insisted that Muhammad’s spiritual encounters with the angel Gabriel proved he was a prophet. Muhammad began to declare to the people of Mecca that he was a prophet in the same lineage as Abraham and Jesus, and Allah (one of the 360 gods worshipped in Mecca) was the one and only god. 

Muhammad taught the religion of Islam for 13 years in Mecca, but only gained about 150 followers. At the time people in Mecca worshipped many different gods and were not fond of Muhammad telling them they were wrong, and their ancestors were burning in hell. In addition, the annual pagan pilgrimage to Mecca to worship the gods was a large part of the city’s economy.

In an attempt to appease and reconcile with the people of Mecca, Muhammad received a revelation that Allah approved of three Meccan gods, Allah’s daughters, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Al-Manat. (Sura 53:19-26). According to Islamic scholars, the people of Mecca rejoiced and were happy that Muhammad included them, but their rejoicing was short-lived when some of Muhammad’s own followers began to question him. He said that Satan had spoken through him, and he no longer acknowledged the Meccan gods. (Sura 22:52) 

Muhammad was somewhat protected while his uncle was still alive, however after his death he and his followers were forced to leave. It is estimated that over 60% of the Qur’an was written in Mecca. This portion of the Qur’an is the peaceful “there’s no compulsion in religion” portion, but once Muhammad was forced out of Mecca, the nature of his evangelism and the Qur’an drastically changed.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Lord God, we stand with You on behalf of the people of Islam who do not realize their need for a Savior, but rather believe that works will get them to “paradise.” Based upon Psalm 119:18, we declare You are a loving God, and You desire to “Open their eyes that they may behold wondrous things out of Your Word.” We thank You for releasing them from spiritual darkness, enabling them to see their great need to have a loving relationship with the true and living God, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Muhammad and the Beginning of Islam

How did the Muslim religion begin? Islam began more than 500 years after the death of Christ with the birth of Muhammad in 570 AD in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). Sadly, his father died before his birth, and his mother died when he was six. After his mother’s death, his grandfather cared for him. Two years later his grandfather died so his uncle, Abu Talib raised him. Muhammad traveled the trade routes with his uncle as far as Syria. At the age of 25, Muhammad married a wealthy caravan owner, a 40-year-old woman, Khadijah. 

After their marriage, each year Muhammad took time in a cave in the mountains surrounding Mecca to seek the unseen God. He did this for many years and at age 40 he had a visitation from what he believed was the angel, Gabriel. The website, Answering Islam describes the visitation, “In the first encounter, …Gabriel caught him (forcefully) and pressed him so hard that he could not bear it anymore, and this was repeated three times. Gabriel left Muhammad terribly shaken.”

Islam teaches that for two years following the visitation, Muhammad thought he had gone mad and reached a point where he wanted to commit suicide. His wife, however, stood by him and assured him that he was a good man. 

Muhammad’s encounter with what he believed was the angel Gabriel is interesting, especially when it is contrasted with Gabriel’s appearances in the Bible. Muhammad was terrified and “pressed” until he could not bear it anymore and continued to be frightened after the encounter. In the Bible, Gabriel appears to Daniel (Daniel 8:16-18, 9:20-22), Zechariah (Luke 1:13, 18-19) and Mary (Luke 1:26-30). In each case, although the Gabriel’s appearance is most assuredly startling, the angel does not leave people in fear. He raises Daniel back to his feet and tells both Zechariah and Mary to not be afraid.

Muhammad, as a trader in pre-Islamic Arabia, was exposed to mixture of many different religious beliefs. Polytheism was prevalent in Mecca where the people worshipped over 360 different gods. Christianity, Judaism, and Iranian religions including Manichaeism (a mixture of Mesopotamian religion and gnosticism) also had a presence in the region. Traces of these religions may be found throughout Muhammad’s only “miracle” – the Qur’an itself.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Lord God, we know how much You love the Muslim people and desire them to be in Your eternal kingdom. We stand upon the scripture in John 6:44a, where Jesus declared, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” We align our hearts with yours and believe through this Islamic season of Ramadan, You are drawing multitudes of Muslims toward You, opening their hearts to Your love, resulting in them receiving Jesus Christ as Lord! We praise You, for the victory they will have in Christ!

Muhammad – Islam’s Final Prophet

In our last post, we talked about the uniqueness of Jesus (Isa) in Islam. In the Qur’an, Jesus is one of 25 “prophets” that most Islamic scholars recognize. Most of these are Biblical figures whose names Christians will readily recognize such as Adam, Abraham (Ibrahim), Noah, David, and Moses (Musa). Muhammad is considered by Muslims as the final prophet, and although Muslim scholars claim that all prophets are equal, it is Muhammad that is remembered daily in all Muslims’ lives.

In Islam there are five pillars – basic acts that are considered mandatory for all Muslims. The first pillar is a confession of faith called the shahada. The confession, “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah” is to be declared in Arabic and must be said with conviction and an understanding of its meaning. The first part, “there is no god but Allah” is declaring that only Allah can be worshipped, and that Allah has no partner and has no son. To believe that Allah has a son is considered “shirk”, or blasphemy.

The second part declares the Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. It should be noted that you do not become a Muslim by simply pronouncing the words. The oral declaration reflects the belief that is held in one’s heart. 

The complete shahada does not appear in the Qur’an. It is found in Sura 9:31, and in Sura 33:40. As soon as a baby is born into a Muslim family, these words are whispered into his ears, The phrase is considered the most sacred statement in Islam and is repeated multiple times a day in a Muslim’s life. In fact, by the time a Muslim reaches the age of 50, he has heard this repeated nearly 90,000 times. That is roughly 1,800 times per year, every year since the day he was born. If possible, a Muslim is encouraged to repeat the words as he is dying.

Prayer Point:

Lord God, You love the Muslim people and long for them to know you as a Father. We pray they will begin to question their ritualistic times of prayer because there is no Holy Spirit anointing on what they are doing. We ask You to give them a desire for more, culminating in a relationship through Jesus that will bring satisfaction and fulfillment in their lives.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

I John 5:19 assures us, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  Based upon the power and the authority of Your Holy Word, We declare that the powers of darkness over the lives of the precious Muslim people is being broken, bringing a release from the evil spiritual dominion that is dominant in their lives, in Jesus’ name!

The Unique Nature of Jesus

Both Christians and Muslims believe in Jesus, however Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. There are areas of agreement though between Christians and Muslims which make Jesus unique even within Islam. For instance, Muslims believe Jesus was born of a virgin. The Qur’an says:

And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East and had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our spirit, and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man. She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art God-fearing. He said: I am only a messenger from thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son. She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste? He said: So, it will be. Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And it will be that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained. And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place. Sura 19:16-22.

Both the Bible and Qur’an agree that Jesus was sinless. This is a trait unique to Jesus in both texts. It is implied in the Qur’an that a man cannot be faultless unless he is born of a virgin (Sura 19:19). Since Jesus was the only man to be born of a virgin, he is also the only sinless man that ever lived.

Although Islam denies that Jesus was crucified, it does teach that He ascended. Sura 4:158 says, “Allah took Him up to Himself.” Both the Bible and Qur’an agree that Jesus ascended to heaven and is alive there to this day.

Finally, both Christianity and Islam believe that Jesus will return. Christians and Muslims differ in what they expect Jesus to do when He returns, but both expect Him to return and take control of the earth again. “And (Jesus) shall be a sign for (the coming of) hour (of Judgment).” Sura 43:61

The virgin birth of Jesus, His sinlessness, His ascension and His second coming demonstrate that He was much more than a prophet. While other men come from the dust and return to it, Jesus came from God and returned to God. (John 16:28).

Even though there are similarities, there is a vast difference in Muslims’ understanding. In addition to not believing that Jesus is God,  Muslims do not believe in original sin see no need for forgiveness. Although they believe Jesus is a prophet, they do not believe that on the cross He died for the sins of mankind providing redemption for all who will believe. 

Prayer Point:

During Ramadan when Muslims are seeking, we thank You, Father, that your drawing power is leading them to read the gospels to learn the power of the cross of Christ for their lives, opening their eyes to the truth of Christ’s salvation.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

We declare that the spiritual darkness over the minds of Muslims can no longer keep them from salvation, and a great desire for “truth” is stirring in their hearts, bringing them to the realization of sin in their lives and a longing for forgiveness!

Islam’s Identity Crisis

To completely deal with a spiritual issue, God looks at the root. At the root of Islam is an identity crisis.

All Muslims consider themselves the spiritual descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. In fact, Muhammad was a direct descendent of Ishmael through Ishmael’s second son, Kedar.

The Biblical account of Ishmael is found in Genesis 16-17. Ishmael, whose name means “God hears,” was the first person to ever be named by God before birth. The Bible tells us that Abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born to Hagar, the servant of Abram’s wife. Thirteen years later, when Abram was 99, God appeared to him, changed his name to Abraham and promised to make him the father of many nations. God also told Abraham that His covenant would be established through his son Isaac, the son that Sarah his wife would have.

Abraham petitioned God regarding his son Ishmael, and God said, “as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation…”

Genesis 21 describes the fulfillment of the promise of the birth of Isaac. When Isaac was weaned, Abraham had a feast. Sarah saw Ishmael mocking Isaac and insisted that Abraham send Ishmael and his mother away. At age 15, Ishmael was cast out of his father’s house. Abraham loved Ishmael so the thought of sending him away was quite distressing. God then said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman because he is your seed” (Genesis 21:12-13).

So, at the age of 15, Ishmael was forced from his father’s house. After soon running out of water, he found himself dying in the wilderness. His mother, Hagar, could not bear to see her son die so she left him alone under a shrub to die. Imagine the pain of rejection and fatherlessness, Ishmael must have experienced – in an instant he went from being a son to a servant. The Bible says God heard the cry of Ishmael, and then He spoke to Hagar, “Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation” (Genesis 21:17-18). God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She gave Ishmael a drink, saving him from death. He grew and lived in the wilderness.

Ishmael lost his identity when his father, Abraham cast him out. Without a father, he also lost his inheritance. Even today the religion of Islam reflects the lost identity and inheritance of Ishmael. Muslims see themselves as servants of God, but they cannot have a personal relationship with their god, Allah, so they are desperately working to please him and avoid judgment.

Prayer Point:

Pray that God will reveal the truth about the destiny of the Muslim people that is hidden in the name of Ishmael – He hears their cries and desires a relationship with them as their Father.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Father, we stand in the authority You have given us to proclaim Your will in the earth. This day we declare that the hearts of Muslims around the earth are responding to the love of God and are awakening to the truth that Jesus Christ is more than a prophet of Islam; that He is truly the Son of the living God.

The Gospel from a Shame/Honor Perspective

The UN Refugee Agency reports that there are currently 26.4 million people around the world that are refugees. Of this 26.4 million, 6.7 million are from Syria and 2.6 million are from Afghanistan – both primarily Islamic nations, and both with shame- based cultures. In fact, a quick look at the map below demonstrates how prevalent the shame/honor-based culture is around the world.

It is increasingly likely that people in your sphere of influence possess a much different background and cultural lens than you do. As Westerners, primarily with a guilt/innocence mindset, it can be difficult to see, much less, present the gospel with a different mindset. To demonstrate the difference, The 3D Gospel, by Jayson Georges, compares mindsets using the “Four Spiritual Laws” booklet as an example. Here is a comparison of the guilt/innocence to the shame/honor mindset from the book:


God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. Jesus came so that we would have eternal life and not perish. Jesus offers us an abundant life.


God values you and wants to honor you as His child. God created us with glory and honor, to live with harmony in his family.


People are sinful and condemned by God. Our transgressions create a barrier between us and a holy God. Good works fail to reach God’s standard.


People are shameful and dishonor God. Our rebellion disgraces the glorious God and produces shame. Our attempts to restore honor fall short of covering the shame of our spiritual orphanage.


Jesus Christ is the perfect sacrifice for your sins. Jesus died on the cross in our place to pay the penalty of sins. Jesus bore the wrath of God’s punishment for us.


Jesus Christ bore all your shame and restores honor. Jesus’ disgraceful death removes our shame and restores honor. By honoring God, Jesus allows you to rejoin God’s family.


You must receive Jesus as your personal Savior. Receive Christ as personal Savior and turn from human morality to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life.


You must give allegiance to Jesus to enter God’s family. Receive God’s gracious welcome into his family and live under His name. Turn from false cultural face to receive honor from God.

Presenting the truths of scripture from a different mindset can be challenging, but Jesus’ death and resurrection is a “complete” gospel – one that reaches people from all cultural mindsets.

We Take Up the Rod of Heaven’s Authority:

Lord God, although humans view the Bible through cracked, blurred lenses, Your infallible Word of Truth will powerfully overcome cultural traditions and beliefs. We declare that the perfect scriptures for each person will be heard and received by those raised in Shame-based cultures, and through the work of the Holy Spirit, understanding will be quickly received, bringing many souls into Christ’s kingdom!